The Pikonlinna Hospital was built, because there was a need for a joint tuberculosis sanatorium for all the municipalities located in the Pirkanmaa region. At the end of the 19th century it was recognized that pulmonary tuberculosis was widespread everywhere where people had contacts with each other. Pulmonary tuberculosis was especially contagious in Northern and Western Finland, where a third of the mortality among 15-60 year-olds was attributed to tuberculosis. All in all 45,000 people suffered from tuberculosis in Finland, of whom 7,500 people succumbed to it every year.
After Finland became independent in 1917, there emerged a need to find a summer residence for the president of the republic. One of the suggested alternatives was the beautiful area in Pitkäahde, Kangasala, on the shore of Lake Vesijärvi. Ultimately, Naantali’s Kultaranta was selected as the president’s summer residence and the Pitkänahde area was chosen as the site for the Central Sanatorium of the Cental Häme region, which was built in 1931. In the 1930s it was customary to call large buildings “castles”, which is the reason why the Central Sanatorium of the Central Häme region became to be known as Pikonlinna (Piko Castle).
Pikonlinna functioned as a sanatorium (1931-1968), military hospital (1939-1944), and as a multipurpose hospital (1968-2007). Since Pikonlinna was a unit of the Tampere central hospital, it was decided that it would serve as centre for the treatment of pulmonary, rheumatic and cancer patients. With the further development of the health care system it became evident that the consolidation of operations to one location was more suitable for patients’ needs. During the first decade of the 21st century operations were relocated in Tampere.
Pikonlinna consists of the land area on which it was built. It consists of buildings, the people who worked there, the patients treated there, and their loved ones. The walls of Pikonlinna have witnessed moments of joy and sorrow. In other words, Pikonlinna was comprised of buildings, human beings and feelings. Pikonlinna also serves as a good example of the advances and progress in medicine.
This on-line exhibition of the Pikonlinna Hospital gives an overview of the development of the health care system and treatment methods in the Pirkanmaa region, as well as its productivity with the focus on the Pikonlinna Hospital. The virtual exhibition describes the stages of the Pikonlinna Hospital, in other words it provides an overview of how a sanatorium built for treating tuberculosis became a hospital that also provided treatment for patients with other endemic diseases in the course of decades. The Pirkanmaa Hospital District sold the Pikonlinna Hospital with its land area in 2008. Since Pikonlinna has ceased to exist as a hospital, we want to preserve its past history in an on-line format.